Tuesday 11 March 2008

St. Barnabas Church, Dulwich, south London

Built in 1996 to replace a burned-out Victorian building, St. Barnabas is a rare example of a modern church that matches the beauty and elegance of many ancient ecclesiastical buildings. Daylight pours in through the large glass windows that dominate the east face of this red-brick church, illuminating the striking interior. Beneath the rows of spot lights suspended from the slim wooden beams that line the high arched-ceiling, is a kind of religious theatre-in-the-round. The altar is surrounded on three sides by light and modernistic wooden pews, bringing the entire congregation close to the vicar. Covering the wall behind the altar are the shining, golden pipes of the organ opposite a large cross, made from wooden beams from the old church, hanging from the ceiling. Surrounded by green playing fields and facing a row of grand Edwardian houses, St. Barnabas, with its tall glass spire, is a fine local landmark. 8/10